Using Telehealth to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19

Telehealth consults is an ideal way to keep your clinic running smoothly during COVID-19, while reducing the risk of spreading the virus through in-person consultations.

How HotDoc Teleconsults works

HotDoc Telehealth is built into HotDoc’s Online Bookings product. It works by encouraging selected/screened patients to conduct their appointments over the phone or by video, instead of in-person. Here are the basic steps:

1) Patients screened when booking online

When a patient makes a booking online through HotDoc, they are screened using a series of questions. These questions adhere to the Government’s Medicare requirements and help unearth those patients who meet telehealth rebate eligibility.

When a patient meets the Medicare requirements for telehealth, they are encouraged to book a telehealth appointment in replacement of an in-person appointment. 

2) Patient provides best contact phone number

Once the patient has confirmed that they would like to book a telehealth consultation, they are requested to provide the phone number they would like to be contacted on. This preferred contact number is then linked to the booking, so it is easy for the doctor to make contact.

3) Telehealth appointment is written back to clinical software

Once the telehealth booking is made, the booking and all the relevant details (like the patient’s phone number) are written directly back to your clinical software. This means a doctor, or anyone else on the team, can see which appointments are telehealth appointments and which aren’t.

4) SMS reminder sent to patient prior to appointment

If HotDoc Reminders is turned on at your clinic, an SMS reminder will be sent to the patient 24 hours prior to the appointment. The SMS includes a reminder that the consultation will take place over phone/video.

5) Doctor telephones/video calls patient at time of appointment

At the time of the appointment, the doctor simply opens the booking to locate the patient’s phone number or the video link. They can then call the patient to begin the consultation. 

Learn more about how HotDoc Telehealth works here

Why we built a Telehealth platform

With the Federal Government announcing a Medicare rebate for telehealth consultations, we have built and released a telehealth tool—meeting Medicare’s telehealth guidelines—which clinics can use to reduce in-person visits and limit the spread of infection during COVID-19.

The truth is, we’ve been wanting to build a telehealth tool for some time. In fact, we’d already half-built our telehealth product prior to COVID-19, but without the Medicare rebate it was hard. Now, the government has given telehealth the green light so we’ve rolled out the product.

Related article: What we’re doing to help clinics with COVID-19: A message from Dr. Ben Hurst, HotDoc CEO and co-founder

The benefits of Telehealth for clinics

Reduce non-essential visits

Reduce the strain on reception teams and minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus to staff and other patients by replacing in-person consults with telehealth consultations. Telehealth also makes it possible for clinics to continue operation while doctors work from home.

Automatically screen patients for the telehealth Medicare rebate

Save reception staff time manually screening patients over the phone for the telehealth rebate. Our online screening questionnaire matches Government requirements (updated daily) for the Medicare rebate. This ensures that only those patients eligible for the telehealth rebate go on to use telehealth. 

Take online payments

Take payments during the booking process for privately billed telehealth consults. This makes billing easy for clinics by keeping all online telehealth rebate appointments in one place and ensures clinics don’t have to chase up patients for post-appointment payments.

Learn more about HotDoc Telehealth

To learn more about HotDoc Telehealth, visit this page. Or, to get a FREE (no obligation) demo, fill out the form below:

Get a Free Demo of HotDoc Teleconsults

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